I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe
The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken
Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell
May 17, 2015 - 1:16 p.m.
I slept late yet again. I didn't wake up till 10:15. Tomorrow my alarm goes off at 8:30 so that will be the end of that. I won't be getting home till one so this should be fun. It doesn't help that I now have a cold. I somehow collected a lifetime supply of cold meds. Every time I had a cold I couldn't find what I had and bought more. Then I found my stockpile. OK it was actually just two boxes but one was huge. My symptoms pretty much go away when I take the meds till a half hour before I can take the next does so I only have a cold for half an hour out of every four.
Now I have to be clever. As I said yesterday I went to a party that I can't talk about. I don't want to write another, "woe is me" entry so I am going to slightly alter the facts of the party so I can write it. This is something I often do, write about an equivalent situation where all the relationships stay unchanged but the objects are different. It's a common thing in math where it has many names, isomorphism or homeomorphism for example. At the party I told a story about the great physicist Wolfgang Pauli and someone said, "that has to be made up.' And I said, "Even Nobel Prize winning physicists reinterpret the truth to make their lives more interesting. So who am I to go against Niels Bohr? I get to have the fun of making up names for everyone. I don't get to show off that I remember many of the names of people I met. All the facts are shall we say, slightly altered but all the conversations are as close to verbatim as my faulty memory will allow.
My friend Sigrid was given a party. It celebrated the conviction of Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf the notorious kitty-litter bomber. Sigrid testified in the trial and is now in the witness protection program. If word got out of her whereabouts her life would be worth less than a Knicks playoff ticket.
I can't say where the party was of course but as I contractually obligated to talk about my commute I'll say that I didn't have to change trains to get there. So it is somewhere on the or line. I left the house a little later than I wanted, I arrived a little later than I wanted, which meant that I still got there before almost everyone else. But not by that much. I can live with the shame.
I finally got to meet Sigrid's beau Arnie. I long ago told Sigrid that I have to approve of her choice of boyfriend. This is a small service I supply to women that are close to me. If I don't approve they must break up. Carey. is very pleased that I did not approve of Jian but did of Neal. We will ignore for the moment that Carey did not approve of Jian either. The five people who get that think it's hysterical. Just take my word for it.
I didn't know anybody there other than Sigrid and her daughter Maya. Sigrid did what a good host does, she catalyzed the conversation by introducing me to Victoria and Graham. She said "you guys have to talk, you all like Muppets." To which my reaction was, 'Doesn't everyone?" Apparently Sigrid doesn't. I am still her friend as she did help make this country safe for democracy. Still though, not liking Muppets? I don't get that at all. So it's a good thing I can't use real names as the only other one I remember is Alexandra. Which of course is not her real name. I could fake it of course and make believe I remember everyone's name but I'm far too honest for that.
I said that I didn't know anyone there but after a bit Liam showed up. I know Liam well. I know Sigrid well. I had no idea that they knew each other. There are some musicians that I have seen with both of them but they were never at the same show while I was there. So the only thing surprising about them knowing each other is that I didn't know that they knew each other. I told Carey that there's one thing I expected her to be able to figure out in this edition of Wise Madness. She should know Liam's real name. Let's see if I'm right.
There was of course quite a bit of Muppet talk. Victoria actually met Jim Henson when she was a child! I couldn't beat that but I did have to tell her that David Hein is the coolest person I know as he wrote a song that Kermit sang. A discussion of Hamilton led to discussing theater that led to talking about how Anais Mitchell's Hadestown is going to be produced in New York. Which led to me telling how Anaïs and I cast Hadestown with Muppets.
I like being in a crowd where I don't have to explain obscure mythological references or synesthesia. I'm kicking myself because I can't remember what the obscure reference actually was. So what else did we talk about? One thing is why Sigrid needs to talk to Joe Crookston. I really should have taken notes. There was a lot of weirdness.
After the party I went to Trader Joe's and was delighted to find that they are carrying buffalo burgers again! Guess what I had for dinner. OK I got commuting and food into the entry so now it's official.
I hope I didn't leave any clues to Sigrid's identity that ISIL can follow and track her down. I'd feel very bad if I got her killed. I'd need a lot of Muppets go get over it. Oh Muppets! I forgot the important Muppet debate. All conversations about Muppets eventually lead to which Muppet you are. I think that Lauren got it right decades ago I am Gonzo. Just look at my nose? And that was prophetic as even though back then I didn't have a think for chickens look how much time I spend now with chicks. You know the ones with dip. More of you will get that than my other references. But Carey says I'm Telly. Now I don't know Telly, he's a Sesame Street Muppet. The people at the party said he was sedate, the calm in the storm of crazy Muppetry. That isn't me. So I asked Carey last night and she said, "Telly's not sedate! He's full of anxiety!" I told her that I have to believe her because she's cute. Like all men I judge a woman's credibility by her cuteness. That's why all the old rich guys married to 20-year-olds believe that she really loves him and it's not about the money. But Victoria is also cute so I need some more input. Am I Telly? Is he sedate or anxious? I need to know this.
Now I have to eat. Before that I have to make my cold brew iced coffee so it will be ready for tomorrow. One more thing. If you were at the party and know who Sigrid is and want to know why I chose the names I chose I will tell you. The rest of you, especially the terrorists looking for Sigrid who read my blog every day, will never know.
Oh wait. One more thing. As I was leaving I told Sigrid and Arnie that I approve of Arnie. Arnie didn't even know he was being judged.
The story you just read is true. The names and facts have been changed to protect the innocent.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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